Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Wrestling With Sin Part II

Jude 1:24-25

24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. NIV84

profileAs part of my calling and my profession – I do a number of funerals.  Funerals are usually sad events but for some they are sad and happy events (let me explain).  If the deceased were a Christian – you know – one of those born again types – not just a church goer but a true believer in Christ – death is usually met with joy because it is the transition time between this life and the next.  This is a time that Christians live for – really!

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a measure of sadness for Christians at funerals.  I know when my father died in 2012 – it was a sad time yet a joyous time.  Dad had lived his life in so many ways for Jesus and I had and have no doubt he heard well-done – good and faithful servant when he arrived in heaven.  For Sunday only church goers – funerals probably bring a number of other emotions and thoughts into play.  Doubts and fears probably surface if they haven’t been sold out for Jesus in their walk.  For folks who have little or no faith – funerals probably bring a whole list of other emotions and thoughts as well. Continue reading

January 20, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wrestling With Sin

Romans 7:19

For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

profileI have a sermon series developing within my head – about wrestling with sin.  I told my congregation I was working on it and might come dressed as Hulk Hogan when I preach it.  After trying to apologize for the image that might have brought to some – I mentioned that I was serious about the sermon series.

In our Tuesday morning co-ed Bible class and in our Tuesday evening Men’s Bible class – I have been talking about wrestling with sin.  It is my premise that many Christians today do little wrestling with sin.  This is not because we are so sanctified – but because we have allowed the culture to creep into our lives and churches and sin has lost its place in our lives or understanding.  Some church and pastors I know speak very little about sin or confession and repentance.  Some have even given up on a belief in hell and damnation – believing instead in some form of universalism – where we all go to heaven. Continue reading

January 17, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

F.R.O.G.

Matthew 6:25

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

profileWorry – anxiousness – that can really knock you down.  Some of us worry or are anxious about just about anything.  What are some things you have worried or are anxious about in your life?  Have you ever worried or been anxious about the weather?  Have you ever worried or been anxious about your bills?  Have you ever worried or been anxious about your children?  Have you ever worried or been anxious about your health?  Have you ever worried or been anxious about what you will wear – where you will live – what you will eat?  I could go on and on.

In the Sermon on the Mount – Jesus tells us to not worry – to not be anxious.  We’re to rely on God for our daily needs.  Being worried or anxious will not help our cause for sure.  It will not add a day to our life – it might even cut a few days off of it! Continue reading

January 16, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being of One Mind

Acts 2:44

And all who believed were together and had all things in common.

profileDid you have any family events over the holidays at the end of last year?  Maybe a Christmas party where the whole family gathered?  Maybe a New Year’s Eve gathering where loads of family and/or friends gathered?  At times it is neat getting together – if you like crowds!  Will you have or attend a Super Bowl party?  If your team is in the game – they are a must for sure.  My team isn’t in the playoffs so I have been watching them from a far – lol.

Are you the type person who likes people to get along – agree?  If so – the early church would have been a nice place to be for a variety of reasons (not the martyrdom of course but for the community feel).  Today’s passage talks about the early church being together and having things in common. Continue reading

January 15, 2014 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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